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Babe Ruth vs. Shohei Ohtani
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Two-way baseball star Shohei Ohtani is often said to be doing something nobody has done since Babe Ruth, so it’s worth comparing Ohtani’s statistics in 2021-2022 to Ruth’s in 1918-1919, the only two years that Ruth did a substantial amount of both pitching and hitting.

Ruth was a full time pitcher and occasional pinchhitter in 1914-1917, then started to play the field in 1918. After 1919, he only pitched a total of five times, usually as part of a promotion. (Being Babe Ruth, he won all five games, but he didn’t have much of fastball anymore, striking out only 5 batters in 5 games.)

In contrast to Ohtani who came from Japan in 2018 audaciously intending to both pitch and hit, Ruth was trying to transition from pitching to full time hitting. He peaked as a pitcher in 1916 but in 1917 became slightly less dominant. Lots of pitchers have a few great seasons but then fade due to arm troubles, so it wasn’t unique for Ruth to transition from pitching to hitting.

Around that time, Smoky Joe Wood and and George Sisler moved from big league pitcher to player, as had Cy Seymour around the turn of the century. Bob Lemon did it in the 1940s and Rick Ankiel in the 200s. But pitching and playing the field while resting your arm is basically Ruth and Ohtani.

Keep in mind that Ruth was outspoken about how you couldn’t do both at the same time, so Ohtani is actually doing something that Ruth said couldn’t be done regularly. Even in the two seasons when Ruth regularly pitched and took his place in the lineup, the several years younger Ruth took far more days off than Ohtani, who has missed only 12 out of the last 324 games.

The top line pitching stats make Ruth’s and Ohtani’s two seasons look highly similar. Over 1918-1919, Ruth went 22-12 with a 2.55 ERA, while Ohtani was 24-11 with a 2.70 ERA, with both pitching just under 300 innings. But Ruth was pitching in the Deadball Era, so Ohtani is much better in perspective. Here is their average season for the pairs of years:

Name Year Tm W L W-L% ERA IP H HR BB SO ERA+ FIP H9 HR9 BB9 SO9 WAR
Ruth 1918-1919 BOS 11 6 0.647 2.55 150 137 2 54 35 112 3.12 8.2 0.1 3.2 2.1 1.6
Ohtani 2021-2022 LAA 12 6 0.686 2.70 148 111 15 44 188 156 2.89 6.7 0.9 2.7 11.4 5.1

Ruth was only 12% better than the American League’s average ERA (adjusted for playing in a pitcher’s park), while Ohtani has been 56% better than the AL. Ruth’s fading arm was getting by on guile, striking out only 2.1 batters per 9 innings (down from 4.6 SO9 in 1916), while Ohtani blows down 11.4 hitters per nine innings. Ohtani’s Wins Above a Replacement Pitcher of 10.2 is more than three times better than Ruth’s (although Ruth was hurt by both 1918 and 1919 being shorter seasons than normal due to the Great War).

As a hitter, Ohtani looks a little better from the traditional topline stats: .265 batting average, 40 homers per season, 98 RBIs vs. Ruth’s .312 BA, 20 homers, and 87 RBIs:

Name Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ WAR
Ruth 1918-1919 BOS 113 375 77 117 30 12 20 87 7 80 58 .312 .438 .614 1.052 207 6.9
Ohtani 2021-2022 LAA 156 562 97 149 28 7 40 98 19 84 175 .265 .364 .554 .918 151 4.2

But this was during the Deadball Era when home runs were few. Because Ruth was a pitcher, nobody told him to knock it off when he started trying to hit home runs. The coaches didn’t care like they would have forced a position player to stop fooling around with his uppercut swing. So, relative to all choke up batters of his time, Ruth was a revelation when he hit a record 29 homers in 1919 (followed by 54 and 59 the following two seasons when he’d switched to playing the field full time). So, Ruth’s relativistic batting stats are much better than Ohtani’s (and got incredible after he stopped pitching in 1920).

Ohtani has hit 51% better than the American League over the last two years, which is outstanding, but Ruth hit 107% better, which is Aaron Judge in 2022-like.

The Designated Hitter didn’t exist when Ruth played, so he gets some credit in his hitting WAR for his fielding (which was pretty good — the popular image of Ruth as a fat man is mostly wrong — he let himself get out of shape in 1925 but then hired a personal trainer and worked out all winter to stay in decent shape until he hit 40.) Ohtani is a DH and has played only a few innings in the outfield, so he gets held to the high standard of a DH in measuring his offensive WAR.

Ruth was a surprisingly fast base runner, while Ohtani is very fast. But both get thrown out a lot on the basepaths because they both have the self-confidence that comes with being a living legend.

Overall, Ruth averaged 8.5 WAR for these two seasons (but as high as 14.2 WAR in 1923 after he quit pitching). Ohtani has averaged 9.3 WAR.

So is Ohtani really a better two way player than Ruth?

One argument for Ruth was that he played in shorter seasons. While Ohtani’s Angels play 162 games per years, Ruth’s Red Sox played only 126 in 1918 and 137 in 1919 due to war-shortening.

On the other hand, the level of competition is gigantically higher in 2020 than in 1919, in part due to Ruth revolutionizing the game in 1919 with his power strategy.

The argument for Ruth’s pre-eminence is less that he was relatively better than his competitors (although he was) but that he single-handedly increased the level of competition enormously by smashing through the restrictive realism of his trade and showing the world what could be done by swinging for the fences.

Ruth was enormously influential on his age, and it’s not impossible that the USA’s extraordinary mid-Century run up through Apollo 11 had something to do with the example set by its most famous athletic hero.

An interesting question is whether Ohtani will turn out to be a unique phenomenon or, like Ruth, a revolutionary innovator. Perhaps in 20 years, there will be a number of two-way players in baseball simply because Ohtani showed it could be done.

Or perhaps not.

All that said, I’d still vote for Aaron Judge over Ohtani as the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

But it’s fun to have two historic seasons to argue over.

 
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  1. Ohtani is a DH. Very big difference. Not having to run around on the field, just sitting around and waiting to hit is the main piece of the puzzle. Does Aaron Judge hit 62 home runs this season if he doesn’t get to DH? I don’t think so. If Ohtani has to play the outfield on his days not pitching, is he as good at both pitching and hitting? Probably not. If Ruth was taking hgh, as most major leaguers are nowadays, does he hit 162 home runs?

    • Thanks: Radicalcenter, Pastit
    • Replies: @Trinity
    @Rich

    Spot on. There is the Bambino and there is everyone else.

  2. With this and the MVP stuff I think people are losing sight of something: Ohtani is clearly the best baseball player of all time. By a wide margin. I’m not talking about Babe Ruth’s WAR or Ohtani’s cumulative accomplishments. I’m talking about purely in a vacuum, objectively, who is the best player the game has ever seen. It is Ohtani as he lives and breathes this very second.

    1920s MLB would be a bad joke compared to today’s Single A baseball.

    So it’s not really a fun debate because there is no other side to it. But it needs to be said.

    Not only that but he’s way further out in front of the field compared to the best in any other major sport (Basketball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, golf, whatever).

    • Replies: @bomag
    @Whereismyhandle


    1920s MLB would be a bad joke compared to today’s Single A baseball.
     
    I'd entertain the argument that with today's diet and training regimen, the ''20s player would excel today. A hundred years of dysgenic breeding will do that.

    Another thing to watch is the delta over cohorts. Hard to beat Cy Young.
    , @Janbar
    @Whereismyhandle

    You forget Sir Donald Bradman. A man who needed to score just 4 runs in his last innings to average 100 over the course of his Test Match career. He was out without scoring. No other player has come close to his batting average.

  3. Thanks for doing this.

    He peaked as a pitcher in 1916 but in 1917 became slightly less dominant. Lots of pitchers have a few great seasons but then fade due to arm troubles, so it wasn’t unique for Ruth to transition from pitching to hitting.

    In 1916 Ruth started 40 games, went 23-12, 1.75 ERA, pitched 23 complete games, 9 SO.
    In 1917 Ruth started 38 games, went 24-13, 2.01 ERA, pitched 35 complete games, 6 SO.

    So he completed 35 out of 38 games started in 1917, compared to 23 out of 40 games started in 1916.
    Doesn’t look like arm trouble to me. And the uptick in ERA and decline in shutouts looks like normal variation. (I also wonder if he was higher in the rotation? Maybe facing slightly better hitters?) He started playing in the field because he wanted to, and because he was incredibly good at it. And the Red Sox went along because he was a big draw, and he could play a lot more games in the field than on the mound.

    One other point. I think what Ohtani is doing is incredible — if it weren’t, someone in the last 100 years would have done it. But the fact that he can DH and doesn’t have to play the field is a fundamental difference between him and Ruth. You do point that out, but I think you might have emphasized it a bit more.

    • Thanks: bomag
  4. I’d vote that way, too. As I commented last week, Judge’s offensive WAR exceeds Ohtani’s combined figure.

  5. Anon[324] • Disclaimer says:

    Some differences in Ruth’s favor
    1.shorter fences now
    2.spit balls then
    3.chin music. inside pitch then
    4.cloth caps then
    5.stikeouts shameful then
    6.better training??? now
    7.better surgery now
    8.launch angles now
    9.bats thinner at the handle better whip action now
    10.baseballs may have changed now
    11.clean baseballs now

    Differences in Ohtani favor
    1.Day games then
    2.jet lag time zones now
    3.relief pitching now
    4.shorter games then

  6. Wondering if more went two-ways in history, who else would have been great? Dave McNally?

    Roger Clemens comes to mind because his first at-bat in the majors was one time in the ”96 season where he got a hit, for a year batting average of 1.000.

    • Replies: @Russ
    @bomag


    Roger Clemens comes to mind because his first at-bat in the majors was one time in the ”96 season where he got a hit, for a year batting average of 1.000.
     
    In this vein, I present the highly obscure MLB pitcher Don Durham.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/durhado01.shtml#all_appearances

    He played no other position than pitcher during his 1972-73 MLB tenure. With a 2-11 record and a 5.83 ERA, he was hardly a Cy Young candidate. BUT, batting for the Cardinals in 1972, he went 7-for-14 for a .500 average, and he actually hit more homers (2) than he allowed (1) that year. Very quirky.
  7. Keep in mind that Ruth was outspoken about how you couldn’t do both at the same time, so Ohtani is actually doing something that Ruth said couldn’t be done regularly.

    Hey, I did it regularly in Little League, so I don’t know what Babe Ruth is talking about.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Ian M.


    Hey, I did it regularly in Little League...
     
    Do you do it now? If not, when did you stop?

    And what would someone named Ian know about baseball? This is what "Ian" calls to mind:


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c2/7e/b7/c27eb787ce90e2093108f800629babeb--ian-botham-test-cricket.jpg


    The same goes for any Colins or Alistairs out there.

    Replies: @Ian M.

  8. Judge will likely win the AL MVP award, but if I were a manager and didn’t have to be concerned with contract size Ohtani would be my most coveted player. With one space on the 26 man roster he provides well above average pitching every sixth day and well above average offensive production every day.
    Awards are awards but I doubt there are many managers who would select anyone other than Ohtani as their first choice in an open draft. The fact that he’s a huge draw and is bringing young fans to the game is a bonus.

  9. OT. Not at all by intention, but as a drop in a demographic river, I found myself at the 68 Chicago riot and the 69 Woodstock festival. And now I’ve seen Tucker Carlson interview Kanye West.

  10. they both have the self-confidence that comes with being a living legend

    .
    Ohtani communicates through an interpreter. (Ruth did not.) Ohtani has said that he speaks English, but nonetheless prefers to use an interpreter. That’s what I read. Is this just for communicating with the press, or is he in this shell in the dugout, the team plane, etc. What is the effect of the shell on his performance…one way or the other? Anyway, as a living legend, maybe he should consider using the off-season to become fluent. It’s a big responsibility to be a living legend. All it would take would be one month of hard work with a one-on-one tutor.

  11. Call me when Ohtani has a candy bar named after him, like Baby Ruth and The Reggie Bar. (Although the Curtiss candy company steadfastly claimed the Baby Ruth was named for Grover Cleveland’s daughter, so they wouldn’t have to pay royalties to the slugging sensation)

    BTW I’m curious what marketing gigs does Ohtani already have, national or local? Anything like Dairy Queen’s “Jake Shake,” when Penguin Jake Guentzel lights the lamp? I assume every California sushi bar has quickly invented some kind of Ohtani Roll

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Known Fact


    Call me when Ohtani has a candy bar named after him, like Baby Ruth and The Reggie Bar.
     
    A New York reporter asked a Baltimorean if his city would ever name a candy bar after Brooks Robinson. He replied, we name our sons after him.

    No exaggeration. On a visit to the science museum in Baltimore, I overheard a man call to his so, "Brooks!"

    (Likewise, at Faneuil Hall in Boston, I heard another father call his son, Howard. No way- please tell me it's a family name! Brooks and Howard would be in their early 50s today.)

    Replies: @Known Fact

  12. Initially I was leaning towards Ohtani but Judge gets the nod for MVP–but not by much.

  13. the argument is:
    1) how good are they in absolute terms
    versus
    2) how far ahead of the field are they, in their time period

    1 is not close. Ohtani is 10 times better than Ruth. 2 is where it’s close. under the power law, as time moves forward in a competitive endeavor, it gets harder and harder to separate from the field.

    here we reference the argument in track & field, which is measured. is the best guy ever in his event, who just set the new world record today, also the best guy ever? or was the guy who was much further ahead of the field, for much longer, the better guy? often consensus is that it’s the latter, especially when the new world record holder just barely clipped the previous world record, then never got that close to it again. Michael Johnson was clearly the best 400 runner ever, even though he doesn’t have the record anymore. Carl Lewis was clearly the best long jumper ever, by similar reasoning. conversely, it’s already safe to assume that Ryan Crouser is definitely better than Randy Barnes at throwing.

    • Replies: @bomag
    @prime noticer


    Ohtani is 10 times better than Ruth.
     
    Hurts your argument.

    Maybe a better comparison is Ohtani and Walter Johnson. Johnson was a good hitter, comparable average to Ohtani, plus .433 in the 1925 season. I'd definitely give the nod to Johnson in pitching.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  14. When ohtani hits more hrs then entire teams get back to me. Ruth out homered every team twice. For ohtani to out homer any team (let alone every), he’d need 111 hrs to out homer this year’s Tigers. Context is everything.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Ruth out homered every team twice.
     
    Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn't have happened even a mere decade later.

    Frans Johansson added an important caveat to the 10,000-hour rule mistouted by Malcolm Gladwell: it only applies to mature fields. In something brand new, such as punk rock, one can rise to the top almost immediately. There isn't the competition yet.

    Ruth in the 1920s is the poster child for this.

    Replies: @Ian M., @Catdompanj, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  15. can anybody explain why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game of the year and take a few more at bats to hit homer 63? resting for the playoffs and avoiding injury is a pretty stupid reason.

    Mike Trout hit ‘only’ 40 homers this year, but has 350 career homers whereas Judge is the same age and only has 220. that’s a really big difference. what’s up with that.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    @prime noticer

    Trout also missed a quarter of the season this year. Had he played the full 162 games, he would have hit something like 54 home runs assuming the same pace. Could have been a fun race between him and Judge.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    , @bomag
    @prime noticer


    ...why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game
     
    All part of the Grand Plan, I suppose.

    Lots of asterisks in baseball. I wonder if the home team only batting 8 innings a chunk of the time would change some statistics. Since it affects everyone, maybe not. But then, better teams get fewer at bats.

    Replies: @Ian M.

    , @Catdompanj
    @prime noticer

    Trout has twice as many at bats but not twice as many homeruns. Whats up with that?

  16. Interesting.

    • Replies: @Russ
    @Dream

    Eva is so gorgeous that, during her too-infrequent appearances on Tucker, I have to close my eyes to appreciate how articulate she also is. More skilful men than I might draw an elegant analogy between gorgeous/articulate and -- oh; let's just say -- ace-pitching/power-hitting.

    Replies: @Cool Daddy Jimbo

    , @Truth
    @Dream

    https://external-content.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Ftse1.mm.bing.net%2Fth%3Fid%3DOIF.WtfmlSY0l8QiWEB1PpSsuA%26pid%3DApi&f=1&ipt=c8e3119bcd7cc0f8e3f0d9e4176159e038f0459d7f06484f0166309e2e29bac3&ipo=images

  17. @Dream
    Interesting.

    https://twitter.com/EvaVlaar/status/1578336042754592768?t=Ic7kPh4ZdKRJzwRUXzi-qg&s=19

    Replies: @Russ, @Truth

    Eva is so gorgeous that, during her too-infrequent appearances on Tucker, I have to close my eyes to appreciate how articulate she also is. More skilful men than I might draw an elegant analogy between gorgeous/articulate and — oh; let’s just say — ace-pitching/power-hitting.

    • Replies: @Cool Daddy Jimbo
    @Russ


    Eva is so gorgeous that, during her too-infrequent appearances on Tucker, I have to close my eyes to appreciate how articulate she also is.
     
    She's really something. I don't understand how the powers-that-be haven't completely ravaged her in the MSM and on social media. Smart, pretty, blonde, conservative. It's gotta drive Whoopie nuts.

    Replies: @Truth

  18. OT: An important essay: https://compactmag.com/article/why-conservatism-failed

    Consider the practice of agriculture. For millennia, farmers seeking to sustain the soil employed crop rotation and animal husbandry that could produce the nutrients required by crops year over year. This exigency developed virtues of care and attention to the land, self-reliance, adaptive reuse, thrift, and disciplined work. These practices and virtues formed not just individual farmers, but their communities and economies, shaping holidays, religious devotion, legal contracts, banking practices, ideals of education, and more: in sum, forging a way of life.

    Now consider the effects of a single technology on all of this. During World War II, the United States poured capital into the production of chemical explosives. After the war, these plants switched from making ammonium nitrate for bombs to making it for fertilizer. Overnight, the cost of chemical fertilizer plummeted, and farmers adopted it widely to boost yields. As the resulting production boom slashed prices, farmers who didn’t switch to chemical fertilizers were driven into bankruptcy. The new agriculture had no use for old-fashioned crop rotation, and farms shifted from exploiting complex mixtures of crops and animals to monoculture, growing row after row of the most lucrative crops.

    The new agriculture shared some virtues with the old but discarded careful attention to the land as a whole, self-reliance, thrift, and adaptive re-use. Instead, it became of paramount importance to master the relationship between soil, fertilizer, water, and other inputs. The new environmental dangers posed by the misuse of chemicals led to an explosion of regulations and required licenses (not least to detect any disgruntled citizens intent on returning ammonium nitrate to its original use). As a result, successful farming came to require formal education, including a working knowledge of organic chemistry.

    Meanwhile, the relative value of having a sizable brood of children around the farm as extra hands declined: The tasks they could perform were fewer and the dangers of mechanization and toxic chemicals greater. These shifts, alongside broader industrialization and urbanization, meant farmers had fewer kids, and more that they did have left for opportunity elsewhere. But having fewer children also meant having fewer young people to hire at harvest time, which meant a seasonal demand for an itinerant cheap labor force—and hence, a two-sided economic incentive for mass low-skill immigration.

    In sum, then, the postwar availability of cheap ammonium-nitrate fertilizer dramatically reshaped what it meant to be a farmer, but also brought with it a host of other material and ideological changes. I don’t relate all of this to lament the loss of an older way of life, but to highlight how extensive the social impact of a single technology can be, and how little the conservative defense of tradition offers in response to this sort of change.

    Technology > Ideology

  19. Mike Trout hit ‘only’ 40 homers this year, but has 350 career homers whereas Judge is the same age and only has 220. that’s a really big difference. what’s up with that.

    Trout broke in at age 19, Judge at age 24. Fwiw Judge has the higher career HR%, %7.0 to Trout’s %5.7 ( meaning Judge homered in 7 percent of plate appearances, Trout in 5.7.)

  20. I think Ruth once blew a perfect game in his combined no-hitter when he walked the first batter, started jawing with the ump, got dragged off the field by police for punching the ump in the jaw, and then Ernie Shore came in and got everyone out for the rest of the game. The guy Ruth walked got thrown out stealing, so I guess they faced the minimum, anyway.

    • Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom
    @JimDandy

    Shore used to be a credited with a perfect game, but has been reconned.

  21. Off topic and, Steve, you may already have seen it but the latest convo between Glenn Loury and John McWhorter on composer Florence Price and the hidden figures of classical music. The whistleblower (so to speak) conductor “Don Baton” feels it necessary to disguise his identity and alter his voice before explaining how DEI is impacting classical music.

  22. This was going around Twitter seven years ago:

    Most HR (at-bat) with at least 1,000 innings pitched

    Babe Ruth 714
    Cy Seymour 52
    Wes Ferrell 38
    Bob Lemon 37
    Mike Smith 37
    Red Ruffing 36

    Ruth’s total was shot down immediately. Only 15 of his came when in the lineup as pitcher. Seymour switched to center field after an injury, so most of his wouldn’t count, either. One or two of Ferrell’s may have come in a short stint as an infielder. So call it a three-way tie.

    One online analyst concluded that Ferrell qualifies as history’s best-hitting pitcher as pitcher. I don’t know if anyone else has studied the question, but Ohtani makes it ripe again.

    In 1931, Ferrell gave up nine home runs. He also hit nine. How efficient is that?

    Ferrell pitched a no-hitter against the Browns. The closest of any of them to getting a hit? His own brother, Rick. Who, unlike Wes, is in the Hall of Fame. So much for our appreciation of pitchers who can hit!! Ruth also pitched part of a no-hitter, a perfect game, no less– but only the first out. He was ejected for arguing some point. His relief got the next 26 batters out.

    Cy Seymour, too, holds a record, now shared: making three errors in one inning. He also had a role in Merkle’s Boner.

  23. @Catdompanj
    When ohtani hits more hrs then entire teams get back to me. Ruth out homered every team twice. For ohtani to out homer any team (let alone every), he'd need 111 hrs to out homer this year's Tigers. Context is everything.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Ruth out homered every team twice.

    Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn’t have happened even a mere decade later.

    Frans Johansson added an important caveat to the 10,000-hour rule mistouted by Malcolm Gladwell: it only applies to mature fields. In something brand new, such as punk rock, one can rise to the top almost immediately. There isn’t the competition yet.

    Ruth in the 1920s is the poster child for this.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    @Reg Cæsar

    However, Ruth evidently hit more 500-foot homeruns than anyone else in history, by a solid margin, so there's that.


    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/art_hr.shtml#:~:text=On%20July%2021%2C%201915%2C%20as,470%20feet%20from%20home%20plate.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Catdompanj
    @Reg Cæsar

    Making Ruth's offensive accomplishments even more impressive.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Reg Cæsar

    "Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn’t have happened even a mere decade later."

    Power hitting per se was not new. RBIs are also a key component of power hitting. IF the intended meaning behind "power-hitting" is due to increased HR production being new during that point in MLB's history (namely, the 1920's), then yes, it was something not seen on that level of magnitude before, and it was due to a single individual, named Babe Ruth.

    The fact that Ruth outhomered entire clubs and it was something of the order that Ruth hit 1 HR of every 8 HR's in MLB for a brief time was absolutely amazing. To make the comparison accurate for 2022, it would be as if Aaron Judge hit over 100 HR's in a single season. Something that's never been done or seen before.


    Shoulda, coulda, but it DID happen. The entire 20th century's offensive outcome abruptly changed during the '20's due largely to one single individual, named George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  24. @Rich
    Ohtani is a DH. Very big difference. Not having to run around on the field, just sitting around and waiting to hit is the main piece of the puzzle. Does Aaron Judge hit 62 home runs this season if he doesn't get to DH? I don't think so. If Ohtani has to play the outfield on his days not pitching, is he as good at both pitching and hitting? Probably not. If Ruth was taking hgh, as most major leaguers are nowadays, does he hit 162 home runs?

    Replies: @Trinity

    Spot on. There is the Bambino and there is everyone else.

    • Agree: Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  25. Ohtani has the fastest time from home place to first base in all of baseball.

    Yea, he’s fast.

  26. Excellent stat compilation, but baseball is a not golf – – it’s a team game with intangible team factors. Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine that a time machine* has assembled all of the great players; they are lined-up, like in gym class, and you are the manager making your picks. Maybe this is how one should discriminate between player A and player B. The gym-class take-your-pick test.

    *O/T: Essay topic: If you had a time machine and one pick, where and when would you go back in time to? (Merely to observe, or, would one be permitted to take part? For example, “Officer Chauvin, that’s enough; get the heck off George Floyd.”)

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
    @SafeNow

    Chauvin's fate is an unbelievable travesty of justice (as well as his co-defendants), but if not him, it would've been someone else that would've taken the hit. I don't know maybe I would go back to the first Portugese trader who thought Africans would make terrific slaves and try to stop him but even then I know, if not him, it would've been someone else.

    Replies: @Truth

  27. @Russ
    @Dream

    Eva is so gorgeous that, during her too-infrequent appearances on Tucker, I have to close my eyes to appreciate how articulate she also is. More skilful men than I might draw an elegant analogy between gorgeous/articulate and -- oh; let's just say -- ace-pitching/power-hitting.

    Replies: @Cool Daddy Jimbo

    Eva is so gorgeous that, during her too-infrequent appearances on Tucker, I have to close my eyes to appreciate how articulate she also is.

    She’s really something. I don’t understand how the powers-that-be haven’t completely ravaged her in the MSM and on social media. Smart, pretty, blonde, conservative. It’s gotta drive Whoopie nuts.

    • Agree: Russ
    • Replies: @Truth
    @Cool Daddy Jimbo

    She'll live through it.

    https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-celebrities/actors/whoopi-goldberg-net-worth/

  28. @Ian M.

    Keep in mind that Ruth was outspoken about how you couldn’t do both at the same time, so Ohtani is actually doing something that Ruth said couldn’t be done regularly.
     
    Hey, I did it regularly in Little League, so I don't know what Babe Ruth is talking about.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Hey, I did it regularly in Little League…

    Do you do it now? If not, when did you stop?

    And what would someone named Ian know about baseball? This is what “Ian” calls to mind:

    The same goes for any Colins or Alistairs out there.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    @Reg Cæsar

    How did you find that picture of me?

  29. Massively OT, but very IStevey….

    Guess who Putin just promoted to Colonel General in the Russian Army?

  30. Yeah but how many guys can become a star athlete in football, baseball, and basketball in high school and make the cover of Sports Illustrated? Sure, SI is a rag now but back in 1974 it was a good magazine. Former Miami Dolphins tight end, Bruce Hardy was still in high school and was a star athlete in the Big 3 of team sports in Utah. Hardy was Bo Jackson before Bo knew diddly.

  31. @JimDandy
    I think Ruth once blew a perfect game in his combined no-hitter when he walked the first batter, started jawing with the ump, got dragged off the field by police for punching the ump in the jaw, and then Ernie Shore came in and got everyone out for the rest of the game. The guy Ruth walked got thrown out stealing, so I guess they faced the minimum, anyway.

    Replies: @Dr. Doomngloom

    Shore used to be a credited with a perfect game, but has been reconned.

    • Thanks: JimDandy
  32. @Cool Daddy Jimbo
    @Russ


    Eva is so gorgeous that, during her too-infrequent appearances on Tucker, I have to close my eyes to appreciate how articulate she also is.
     
    She's really something. I don't understand how the powers-that-be haven't completely ravaged her in the MSM and on social media. Smart, pretty, blonde, conservative. It's gotta drive Whoopie nuts.

    Replies: @Truth

  33. @Known Fact
    Call me when Ohtani has a candy bar named after him, like Baby Ruth and The Reggie Bar. (Although the Curtiss candy company steadfastly claimed the Baby Ruth was named for Grover Cleveland's daughter, so they wouldn't have to pay royalties to the slugging sensation)

    BTW I'm curious what marketing gigs does Ohtani already have, national or local? Anything like Dairy Queen's "Jake Shake," when Penguin Jake Guentzel lights the lamp? I assume every California sushi bar has quickly invented some kind of Ohtani Roll

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Call me when Ohtani has a candy bar named after him, like Baby Ruth and The Reggie Bar.

    A New York reporter asked a Baltimorean if his city would ever name a candy bar after Brooks Robinson. He replied, we name our sons after him.

    No exaggeration. On a visit to the science museum in Baltimore, I overheard a man call to his so, “Brooks!”

    (Likewise, at Faneuil Hall in Boston, I heard another father call his son, Howard. No way- please tell me it’s a family name! Brooks and Howard would be in their early 50s today.)

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @Reg Cæsar

    Brooks would be a fine name for a daughter too.

    (But help a guy out here, I'm drawing a blank or having a senior moment, who's Howard?)

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  34. @bomag
    Wondering if more went two-ways in history, who else would have been great? Dave McNally?

    Roger Clemens comes to mind because his first at-bat in the majors was one time in the ''96 season where he got a hit, for a year batting average of 1.000.

    Replies: @Russ

    Roger Clemens comes to mind because his first at-bat in the majors was one time in the ”96 season where he got a hit, for a year batting average of 1.000.

    In this vein, I present the highly obscure MLB pitcher Don Durham.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/d/durhado01.shtml#all_appearances

    He played no other position than pitcher during his 1972-73 MLB tenure. With a 2-11 record and a 5.83 ERA, he was hardly a Cy Young candidate. BUT, batting for the Cardinals in 1972, he went 7-for-14 for a .500 average, and he actually hit more homers (2) than he allowed (1) that year. Very quirky.

  35. Why some people are fascinated with this or that particular statistic is often a mystery. But now it becomes clear why Sarah Langs had been paying so much attention to consecutive-games streaks:

  36. @Reg Cæsar
    @Known Fact


    Call me when Ohtani has a candy bar named after him, like Baby Ruth and The Reggie Bar.
     
    A New York reporter asked a Baltimorean if his city would ever name a candy bar after Brooks Robinson. He replied, we name our sons after him.

    No exaggeration. On a visit to the science museum in Baltimore, I overheard a man call to his so, "Brooks!"

    (Likewise, at Faneuil Hall in Boston, I heard another father call his son, Howard. No way- please tell me it's a family name! Brooks and Howard would be in their early 50s today.)

    Replies: @Known Fact

    Brooks would be a fine name for a daughter too.

    (But help a guy out here, I’m drawing a blank or having a senior moment, who’s Howard?)

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Known Fact


    But help a guy out here, I’m drawing a blank or having a senior moment, who’s Howard?
     
    C'mon, if you're a senior... How did you learn about John Lennon's death? Tens of millions of us heard it from Howard.

    Replies: @Known Fact

  37. Ruth’s last HR cleared the 86 ft roof at forbes field

    https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/ted-beard/

    I conjecture that this demonstrates his bat speed compares favorably with any of the modern greats.

    • Replies: @G. Poulin
    @Dr. Doomngloom

    Ruth never lost his bat speed. It was his eye-hand coordination that was shot in his last two seasons.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom

  38. When I was in high school, we had a Japanese exchange student live with us (twice) He did not fit my stereotypes of Japanese people at all. He played football and baseball, both really well. He was smart but amazingly unstudious, and he was the most laid-back and least anxious person I’d ever met.

    Anyway, one day we were talking about nothing memorable, and I said, “well, in the middle ages, I’d have been a peasant, cuz most people were peasants.” His response: “I’d have been a samurai because my ancestors were samurai.”

    Both sides! For umpteen hundred years. He wasn’t a weird peasant or artisan caste Japanese kid. He was a pretty typical samurai caste Japanese kid. His father was an executive, I forget the company, and his family lived in a fancy section of Chiba, which is like Brooklyn to Manhattan, I think.

    England’s nobility never hopped the pond in any number, so I don’t think much continental nobility would have either. Never having met any, I do wonder what they are like. Do they even really exist? Were they decimated by wars, inbreeding, and changing economics, not to mention guillotines, that there’s not much of the military/landowner aristocracy left? Do they just stay out of política, dress like the upper-middle class, and run all the companies, having traded rural landholdings for commercial real estate and stocks?

    Peter Frost suggested that the Burakumin were like the ancestral Japanese. Being a reproductively separated caste and having an economic niche that was protected from the downwardly mobile excess children of smart/hardworking/etc artisans and farmers. Frost thought they were more like the ancestral Japanese, but I’ll bet they’ve adapted to their niche over like a thousand years.

    Anyway, the upper classes might be like that. I’m sure they’ve experienced selection, but maybe they are different populations than the rest of the nation.

    Anyway, I wonder if an exceptional athlete like Ohtani is of mostly samurai descent. Does anyone know?

    Steve, maybe you want to look into Ohtani’s nature and nurture?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Rob

    Excellent question. I could imagine Ohtani's outstanding bat speed descending from a long line of samurai decapitating swordsmen.

    But, looking it up, it appears his dad was a blue collar auto worker. (Of course, Japanese blue collar auto workers are probably the best auto workers in the world. There are probably 1992 cars still driving fine that were assembled by Shohei Ohtani's dad.)

    One of Carlton Coon's books has a picture of the typical Japanese aristocrat and claims the look is easily recognizable but I couldn't remember it, not knowing any samurai.

    Replies: @Rob, @Rob

    , @AceDeuce
    @Rob

    Just curious. Was it Chiba or Shiba? Chiba is about 30 miles outside of Tokyo, while Shiba is part of Metro Tokyo.

    Also, it's rather interesting you're so credulous regarding his "samurai" ancestry. Ever think that he might just be bullshitting you?

    Replies: @Rob

  39. Babe Ruth vs. Shohei Ohtani

    I’m sorry, but I just have an aversion to putting Ohtani and Ruth in the same sentence. Unfortunately, this is yet one more example of what Sabermetrics can do to traditional icons of the game, namely, that when viewed in the proper light, they really weren’t all that special.

    Ohtani hasn’t directly influenced anything and it’s highly doubtful that he ever will, other than as a unique footnote that he could play both positions. Babe Ruth, however, was perhaps the single greatest MLB icon of the entire 20th century. For Ohtani to reach that level of epic proportions, he would have to achieve on field exploits that no current MLBer is doing. (e.g. hitting 100 HR’s in a single season. Not 50, or 60, or even 70, but 100. That would be the equivalent to Babe Ruth). During his prime years of playing, there were whole seasons when Babe Ruth hit more HR’s than entire clubs. There was a few yr span where something like one in every 8 HR’s in MLB was hit by Babe Ruth. is Ohtani doing that? Obviously not.

    And unlike Ohtani, Babe Ruth transcended the game, and crossed over into the maintream. Ruth appeared in Hollywood short films, did advertisements, etc. Michael Jordan is the closest thing to rival Babe Ruth’s transcendency into the mainstream. When Ohtani’s fame reaches the level of Michael Jordan’s, then it’ll be time to reassess the comparison.

    Nearly 90 yrs after his last game in MLB, many people across generations (including those who can’t stand baseball and wouldn’t be caught dead watching the game) still know who Babe Ruth was. Quite frankly, the very idea that a century from now, ordinary Americans will be talking about or Youtubing Shohei Ohtani exploits (in the US) in MLB is asinine and ridiculous.

    Ruth’s tie for the AL lead in ’18 for HR’s with 11 was more remarkable because hitting ten HR’s back then would be like hitting 60 today. It wasn’t done every single season.

    *The Deadball of the late ’10’s was not the same Deadball of 1900’s. Circa 1910 MLB put a cork center in the ball, and batting averages exploded, as well as other offensive production numbers (except for HR’s of course). But hitting a few more HR’s wasn’t as impossible by the late ’10’s as it would’ve seemed in 1904.

    But either way, it was Babe Ruth, and Ruth alone who ushered in an entire new Era for MLB. It is directly tied to a single person who changed the way the game is played, strategized, etc. MLB is still playing Ruth’s game, (swinging for the fences, the prominence of the HR, as the pinnacle of offensive production, ballpark’s poweralleys shortened to increase HR’s, etc).

    Attempting to come up with a similar type of thing that would lead one to think that Ohtani is directly changing the way that MLB is currently being played, but can’t. Certainly the stats would have to be off the charts, as in, stats never before seen (e.g. having a single season .500 batting average, or hitting 100 HRs in a single season, or 200 RBI’s in a single season, etc) Something so phenomenal that has never been seen before. Not simply a matter of a P-DH combination. A nice story, to be sure, but really in the final analysis it’s not all that spectacular. Because after all, Babe Ruth did it first.

    Nearly a century, and still MLB compares itself when it comes to offensive production to the one superstar that permanently altered the way that MLB is played (even a century later). And, the changes were very noticeable while Ruth was in his prime still playing.

    MLB fans witnessed these changes during Ruth’s playing days, but aren’t seeing that level of magnitude from Ohtani.

    Come on, Steve.

    • Agree: AceDeuce, Pastit
  40. As a true scholastic among baseball fans, Mr. Sailer will next calculate the number of LA Angels that can fit on the head of a pin.

    What I’d like to see is a bunch of games under recreated 1920 conditions. I’d enjoy watching them field with the old mitts. As a boy, I sometimes used one of those ancient mitts that belonged to a friend’s father.

    Dodger star Maury Wills recently passed away. I wish I’d kept the picture he autographed during a promo at my town’s K-Mart that showed him atop a huge pile of bases after his record-setting season of stolen bases.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @roonaldo

    A few amateur golfers play tournaments with only 1920-style hickory wood-shafted clubs (sometimes newly made rather than 100+ years old). It's supposed to be pretty interesting for golf nuts to see all the changes they have to make to score well.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @roonaldo

  41. @roonaldo
    As a true scholastic among baseball fans, Mr. Sailer will next calculate the number of LA Angels that can fit on the head of a pin.

    What I'd like to see is a bunch of games under recreated 1920 conditions. I'd enjoy watching them field with the old mitts. As a boy, I sometimes used one of those ancient mitts that belonged to a friend's father.

    Dodger star Maury Wills recently passed away. I wish I'd kept the picture he autographed during a promo at my town's K-Mart that showed him atop a huge pile of bases after his record-setting season of stolen bases.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    A few amateur golfers play tournaments with only 1920-style hickory wood-shafted clubs (sometimes newly made rather than 100+ years old). It’s supposed to be pretty interesting for golf nuts to see all the changes they have to make to score well.

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Steve Sailer


    It’s supposed to be pretty interesting for golf nuts to see all the changes they have to make to score well
     
    They're not directly comparable since golf is an individual sport while tennis is a mano-a-mano sport, but watching modern tennis stars play with wooden rackets would be interesting, as the technology has definitely changed the game.
    , @roonaldo
    @Steve Sailer

    I donated several sets of vintage clubs from the 1950s and 1960s to a local course after finding little interest in a vintage-golf-club tournament. The blade irons give great feedback and the persimmon woods emit a fine thwack.

    Getting older means my modern clubs get the nod despite reduced feedback and the ugliness and pitiful "tink" of the driver, though a persimmon fairway wood and Ping o-blade putter remain in the bag.

    I'm grateful the Major Leagues appear to show no interest in adopting metal bats. Their other changes I can tolerate.

    Thanks for the Ruth-Ohtani comparison--it is a fun thing to ponder amidst the general craziness of the world these days. My quip about you counting LA Angels fitting on the head of a pin was just a bit o fun--if such a thing were possible to figure, you'd be the man for the job!

  42. @prime noticer
    can anybody explain why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game of the year and take a few more at bats to hit homer 63? resting for the playoffs and avoiding injury is a pretty stupid reason.

    Mike Trout hit 'only' 40 homers this year, but has 350 career homers whereas Judge is the same age and only has 220. that's a really big difference. what's up with that.

    Replies: @Ian M., @bomag, @Catdompanj

    Trout also missed a quarter of the season this year. Had he played the full 162 games, he would have hit something like 54 home runs assuming the same pace. Could have been a fun race between him and Judge.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Ian M.

    Judge, Trout, and Giancarlo Stanton have missed a lot of games due to injuries.

  43. @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Ruth out homered every team twice.
     
    Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn't have happened even a mere decade later.

    Frans Johansson added an important caveat to the 10,000-hour rule mistouted by Malcolm Gladwell: it only applies to mature fields. In something brand new, such as punk rock, one can rise to the top almost immediately. There isn't the competition yet.

    Ruth in the 1920s is the poster child for this.

    Replies: @Ian M., @Catdompanj, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    However, Ruth evidently hit more 500-foot homeruns than anyone else in history, by a solid margin, so there’s that.


    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/art_hr.shtml#:~:text=On%20July%2021%2C%201915%2C%20as,470%20feet%20from%20home%20plate.

    • Thanks: bomag
    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Ian M.


    However, Ruth evidently hit more 500-foot homeruns than anyone else in history, by a solid margin, so there’s that.
     
    But never against Yankee pitching, so there's that. In 1927, the Yanks finished 19 games over the nearest competition. St Louis finished 50 1/2 games out, Boston 59.

    Parity wasn't a thing yet.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  44. @Reg Cæsar
    @Ian M.


    Hey, I did it regularly in Little League...
     
    Do you do it now? If not, when did you stop?

    And what would someone named Ian know about baseball? This is what "Ian" calls to mind:


    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c2/7e/b7/c27eb787ce90e2093108f800629babeb--ian-botham-test-cricket.jpg


    The same goes for any Colins or Alistairs out there.

    Replies: @Ian M.

    How did you find that picture of me?

  45. @Known Fact
    @Reg Cæsar

    Brooks would be a fine name for a daughter too.

    (But help a guy out here, I'm drawing a blank or having a senior moment, who's Howard?)

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    But help a guy out here, I’m drawing a blank or having a senior moment, who’s Howard?

    C’mon, if you’re a senior… How did you learn about John Lennon’s death? Tens of millions of us heard it from Howard.

    • Replies: @Known Fact
    @Reg Cæsar

    Thanks -- you can't just write Howard, you have to say it just like Howard would. I was on the news desk that night and we had the game on -- So yes, we probably got it from him too, even before seeing it cross the wires. Fortunately Dandy Don did not start singing The Party's Over

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

  46. @Ian M.
    @prime noticer

    Trout also missed a quarter of the season this year. Had he played the full 162 games, he would have hit something like 54 home runs assuming the same pace. Could have been a fun race between him and Judge.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Judge, Trout, and Giancarlo Stanton have missed a lot of games due to injuries.

  47. Bob Lemon went the opposite direction, transitioning from utility player to pitcher.

  48. There’s no such thing as runs batted ins. The plural of RBI is RBI, since RBI stands for either Run batted in or Runs batted in.

    • Replies: @Truth
    @Feryl

    That's what I've always said. It should be pronounced RzBI

  49. @Rob
    When I was in high school, we had a Japanese exchange student live with us (twice) He did not fit my stereotypes of Japanese people at all. He played football and baseball, both really well. He was smart but amazingly unstudious, and he was the most laid-back and least anxious person I'd ever met.

    Anyway, one day we were talking about nothing memorable, and I said, “well, in the middle ages, I'd have been a peasant, cuz most people were peasants.” His response: “I'd have been a samurai because my ancestors were samurai.”

    Both sides! For umpteen hundred years. He wasn’t a weird peasant or artisan caste Japanese kid. He was a pretty typical samurai caste Japanese kid. His father was an executive, I forget the company, and his family lived in a fancy section of Chiba, which is like Brooklyn to Manhattan, I think.

    England’s nobility never hopped the pond in any number, so I don’t think much continental nobility would have either. Never having met any, I do wonder what they are like. Do they even really exist? Were they decimated by wars, inbreeding, and changing economics, not to mention guillotines, that there’s not much of the military/landowner aristocracy left? Do they just stay out of política, dress like the upper-middle class, and run all the companies, having traded rural landholdings for commercial real estate and stocks?

    Peter Frost suggested that the Burakumin were like the ancestral Japanese. Being a reproductively separated caste and having an economic niche that was protected from the downwardly mobile excess children of smart/hardworking/etc artisans and farmers. Frost thought they were more like the ancestral Japanese, but I’ll bet they’ve adapted to their niche over like a thousand years.

    Anyway, the upper classes might be like that. I’m sure they’ve experienced selection, but maybe they are different populations than the rest of the nation.

    Anyway, I wonder if an exceptional athlete like Ohtani is of mostly samurai descent. Does anyone know?

    Steve, maybe you want to look into Ohtani’s nature and nurture?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @AceDeuce

    Excellent question. I could imagine Ohtani’s outstanding bat speed descending from a long line of samurai decapitating swordsmen.

    But, looking it up, it appears his dad was a blue collar auto worker. (Of course, Japanese blue collar auto workers are probably the best auto workers in the world. There are probably 1992 cars still driving fine that were assembled by Shohei Ohtani’s dad.)

    One of Carlton Coon’s books has a picture of the typical Japanese aristocrat and claims the look is easily recognizable but I couldn’t remember it, not knowing any samurai.

    • Thanks: Rob
    • Replies: @Rob
    @Steve Sailer

    Shin had a long face. A lot more nose than most Japanese. I haven’t seen him in a long time. He said people thought he didn't look Japanese. As in, Japanese people in Chiba/Tokyo would either ask him where he was from or compliment him on his excellent Japanese.

    Been a while since i read Coon, but that sounds like it’d have been in the center section of pictures in The Living Races of Man.

    Replies: @Truth

    , @Rob
    @Steve Sailer

    Aha. Steve, do have/have access to a paper copy of The Living Races of Man? Plate 47 (plates follow pg 320) has a “Japanese nobleman of aristocratic facial type” he does not look much like Shin. Will google further to see if warrior caste Samurai don’t look like aristocratic ones. Again, I know little of Japan. Were there so few/so insecure nobles that they pretty much freely intermixed with their enforcers? That sounds like feudalism, but I don’t know

    Archive.org has a copy, but the pictures did not digitize well will check libgen.lc or something. Might have a pdf.

  50. @Steve Sailer
    @Rob

    Excellent question. I could imagine Ohtani's outstanding bat speed descending from a long line of samurai decapitating swordsmen.

    But, looking it up, it appears his dad was a blue collar auto worker. (Of course, Japanese blue collar auto workers are probably the best auto workers in the world. There are probably 1992 cars still driving fine that were assembled by Shohei Ohtani's dad.)

    One of Carlton Coon's books has a picture of the typical Japanese aristocrat and claims the look is easily recognizable but I couldn't remember it, not knowing any samurai.

    Replies: @Rob, @Rob

    Shin had a long face. A lot more nose than most Japanese. I haven’t seen him in a long time. He said people thought he didn’t look Japanese. As in, Japanese people in Chiba/Tokyo would either ask him where he was from or compliment him on his excellent Japanese.

    Been a while since i read Coon, but that sounds like it’d have been in the center section of pictures in The Living Races of Man.

    • Replies: @Truth
    @Rob


    Shin had a long face. A lot more nose than most Japanese.
     
    What did the bartender say to Celine Dion?

    Replies: @Rob

  51. @Whereismyhandle
    With this and the MVP stuff I think people are losing sight of something: Ohtani is clearly the best baseball player of all time. By a wide margin. I'm not talking about Babe Ruth's WAR or Ohtani's cumulative accomplishments. I'm talking about purely in a vacuum, objectively, who is the best player the game has ever seen. It is Ohtani as he lives and breathes this very second.

    1920s MLB would be a bad joke compared to today's Single A baseball.

    So it's not really a fun debate because there is no other side to it. But it needs to be said.


    Not only that but he's way further out in front of the field compared to the best in any other major sport (Basketball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, golf, whatever).

    Replies: @bomag, @Janbar

    1920s MLB would be a bad joke compared to today’s Single A baseball.

    I’d entertain the argument that with today’s diet and training regimen, the ”20s player would excel today. A hundred years of dysgenic breeding will do that.

    Another thing to watch is the delta over cohorts. Hard to beat Cy Young.

  52. @Reg Cæsar
    @Known Fact


    But help a guy out here, I’m drawing a blank or having a senior moment, who’s Howard?
     
    C'mon, if you're a senior... How did you learn about John Lennon's death? Tens of millions of us heard it from Howard.

    Replies: @Known Fact

    Thanks — you can’t just write Howard, you have to say it just like Howard would. I was on the news desk that night and we had the game on — So yes, we probably got it from him too, even before seeing it cross the wires. Fortunately Dandy Don did not start singing The Party’s Over

    • Replies: @ScarletNumber
    @Known Fact

    I think Reg Cæsar is off-base here; I don't think a random child in Boston named Howard is named for Howard Cosell.


    Fortunately Dandy Don did not start singing The Party’s Over
     
    At the time Dandy Don was hired, the NFL played a 14-game regular season. Therefore he was contracted to work 14 games per season. When the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978, he refused to work the extra two games, as he said it was a violation of his contract! Therefore, the night John Lennon was killed, it was Fran Tarkenton who was in the booth with Frank and Howard.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  53. @prime noticer
    the argument is:
    1) how good are they in absolute terms
    versus
    2) how far ahead of the field are they, in their time period

    1 is not close. Ohtani is 10 times better than Ruth. 2 is where it's close. under the power law, as time moves forward in a competitive endeavor, it gets harder and harder to separate from the field.

    here we reference the argument in track & field, which is measured. is the best guy ever in his event, who just set the new world record today, also the best guy ever? or was the guy who was much further ahead of the field, for much longer, the better guy? often consensus is that it's the latter, especially when the new world record holder just barely clipped the previous world record, then never got that close to it again. Michael Johnson was clearly the best 400 runner ever, even though he doesn't have the record anymore. Carl Lewis was clearly the best long jumper ever, by similar reasoning. conversely, it's already safe to assume that Ryan Crouser is definitely better than Randy Barnes at throwing.

    Replies: @bomag

    Ohtani is 10 times better than Ruth.

    Hurts your argument.

    Maybe a better comparison is Ohtani and Walter Johnson. Johnson was a good hitter, comparable average to Ohtani, plus .433 in the 1925 season. I’d definitely give the nod to Johnson in pitching.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @bomag

    Walter Johnson was insanely valuable as a pitcher, and was a decent hitter, but he only played the field 16 times in his career.

    It's apparently highly taxing to be a starting pitcher and be in the daily lineup as a hitter, although easier as a DH, so nobody has done it as a permanent strategy. Heck, Babe Ruth didn't like doing it and he wasn't lacking in (justified) self-confidence.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom

  54. @prime noticer
    can anybody explain why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game of the year and take a few more at bats to hit homer 63? resting for the playoffs and avoiding injury is a pretty stupid reason.

    Mike Trout hit 'only' 40 homers this year, but has 350 career homers whereas Judge is the same age and only has 220. that's a really big difference. what's up with that.

    Replies: @Ian M., @bomag, @Catdompanj

    …why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game

    All part of the Grand Plan, I suppose.

    Lots of asterisks in baseball. I wonder if the home team only batting 8 innings a chunk of the time would change some statistics. Since it affects everyone, maybe not. But then, better teams get fewer at bats.

    • Replies: @Ian M.
    @bomag

    But counteracting that is that better teams get more hits, allowing them to get more at bats per inning than bad teams do.

  55. @Dr. Doomngloom
    Ruth’s last HR cleared the 86 ft roof at forbes field

    https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/ted-beard/

    I conjecture that this demonstrates his bat speed compares favorably with any of the modern greats.

    Replies: @G. Poulin

    Ruth never lost his bat speed. It was his eye-hand coordination that was shot in his last two seasons.

    • Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @G. Poulin

    I agree. My intended point is that his bat speed was arguably as good as anyone who ever played. Of course, so did Dave Kingman, he just didn't make good contact as often.

    The batting skill that erodes most quickly with time is the ability of the eye to track the pitch. https://www.drivelinebaseball.com/2019/02/batters-see-ball-review-gaze-research-batting/
    summarizes an experiment with Brian Harper, a journeyman ball player who appeared to have much better ability to track than the researchers believed possible.

    When the aging slugger cannot get the bat around in time, it's a sign that he is losing his tracking and reaction speed. The great Japanese slugger, Oh, said that he knew he was done when he told other players that the opposing pitcher seemed fast, but they didn't think that pitcher was anything special.

  56. we’re all giving the nod to judge because we’re white supremacists, right?

  57. @Whereismyhandle
    With this and the MVP stuff I think people are losing sight of something: Ohtani is clearly the best baseball player of all time. By a wide margin. I'm not talking about Babe Ruth's WAR or Ohtani's cumulative accomplishments. I'm talking about purely in a vacuum, objectively, who is the best player the game has ever seen. It is Ohtani as he lives and breathes this very second.

    1920s MLB would be a bad joke compared to today's Single A baseball.

    So it's not really a fun debate because there is no other side to it. But it needs to be said.


    Not only that but he's way further out in front of the field compared to the best in any other major sport (Basketball, football, soccer, hockey, tennis, golf, whatever).

    Replies: @bomag, @Janbar

    You forget Sir Donald Bradman. A man who needed to score just 4 runs in his last innings to average 100 over the course of his Test Match career. He was out without scoring. No other player has come close to his batting average.

    • Agree: AceDeuce
  58. @Feryl
    There's no such thing as runs batted ins. The plural of RBI is RBI, since RBI stands for either Run batted in or Runs batted in.

    Replies: @Truth

    That’s what I’ve always said. It should be pronounced RzBI

  59. @Rob
    @Steve Sailer

    Shin had a long face. A lot more nose than most Japanese. I haven’t seen him in a long time. He said people thought he didn't look Japanese. As in, Japanese people in Chiba/Tokyo would either ask him where he was from or compliment him on his excellent Japanese.

    Been a while since i read Coon, but that sounds like it’d have been in the center section of pictures in The Living Races of Man.

    Replies: @Truth

    Shin had a long face. A lot more nose than most Japanese.

    What did the bartender say to Celine Dion?

    • Replies: @Rob
    @Truth

    What?

    Replies: @Truth

  60. @Ian M.
    @Reg Cæsar

    However, Ruth evidently hit more 500-foot homeruns than anyone else in history, by a solid margin, so there's that.


    https://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/art_hr.shtml#:~:text=On%20July%2021%2C%201915%2C%20as,470%20feet%20from%20home%20plate.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    However, Ruth evidently hit more 500-foot homeruns than anyone else in history, by a solid margin, so there’s that.

    But never against Yankee pitching, so there’s that. In 1927, the Yanks finished 19 games over the nearest competition. St Louis finished 50 1/2 games out, Boston 59.

    Parity wasn’t a thing yet.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Reg Cæsar

    Now this is a lie. A lie.

    The 1922 AL Pennant race, NY edged out STL by 1 game. Both the 1908 AL Pennant Race (DET over CLE, by one-half of a single game. And CHC over NY which required a one game playoff to determine the NL Pennant winner). The 1904 AL Pennant Race went to BOS over NY, by 1.5 games. Both leagues also had close pennant races during this time where the winner won by less than 3 games (then as now, MLB's clubs plays its games in series of 3 games for the most part, and so a season where a team wins the pennant by 3 games or less is technically very close indeed, as it would go down to the wire with the final 3 game series to determine the pennant winner, though the second place team doesn't always play the first place leader at season's end to decide the pennant outcome).

    The point is that there has always been close pennant races in MLB for well over a century, but "parity" goes in cycles. Sometimes the seasons are close and go down to the wire, and sometimes the league pennant winner smashes all competition.

    This is really a "like, no duh, pennant races can be and often are very, very close in an MLB season."

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  61. @Rob
    When I was in high school, we had a Japanese exchange student live with us (twice) He did not fit my stereotypes of Japanese people at all. He played football and baseball, both really well. He was smart but amazingly unstudious, and he was the most laid-back and least anxious person I'd ever met.

    Anyway, one day we were talking about nothing memorable, and I said, “well, in the middle ages, I'd have been a peasant, cuz most people were peasants.” His response: “I'd have been a samurai because my ancestors were samurai.”

    Both sides! For umpteen hundred years. He wasn’t a weird peasant or artisan caste Japanese kid. He was a pretty typical samurai caste Japanese kid. His father was an executive, I forget the company, and his family lived in a fancy section of Chiba, which is like Brooklyn to Manhattan, I think.

    England’s nobility never hopped the pond in any number, so I don’t think much continental nobility would have either. Never having met any, I do wonder what they are like. Do they even really exist? Were they decimated by wars, inbreeding, and changing economics, not to mention guillotines, that there’s not much of the military/landowner aristocracy left? Do they just stay out of política, dress like the upper-middle class, and run all the companies, having traded rural landholdings for commercial real estate and stocks?

    Peter Frost suggested that the Burakumin were like the ancestral Japanese. Being a reproductively separated caste and having an economic niche that was protected from the downwardly mobile excess children of smart/hardworking/etc artisans and farmers. Frost thought they were more like the ancestral Japanese, but I’ll bet they’ve adapted to their niche over like a thousand years.

    Anyway, the upper classes might be like that. I’m sure they’ve experienced selection, but maybe they are different populations than the rest of the nation.

    Anyway, I wonder if an exceptional athlete like Ohtani is of mostly samurai descent. Does anyone know?

    Steve, maybe you want to look into Ohtani’s nature and nurture?

    Replies: @Steve Sailer, @AceDeuce

    Just curious. Was it Chiba or Shiba? Chiba is about 30 miles outside of Tokyo, while Shiba is part of Metro Tokyo.

    Also, it’s rather interesting you’re so credulous regarding his “samurai” ancestry. Ever think that he might just be bullshitting you?

    • Replies: @Rob
    @AceDeuce

    Oh. I don't know. I had heard of Chiba, but thought it was right next door. I assumed that’s what he was saying. I might have an old Christmas card from his parents. He said it was near Tokyo, but his English was not great (the Japanese are attached to the American Empire, but they don’t want their upper class too fluent in English)

    Shin’s dad was pretty high up in some Keiretsu (is that what they are/were called?)

    Shin’s brother was a flower designer, but maybe that was a hobby. Shin tried to get started as a dancer in LA after school. I have no idea if either of those codes as gay in upper-class Japan. I do know that Shin got married.

    Tried to find him online a couple of years ago, but had no luck. Found someone with his name who was a producer on what was maybe a Japanese soft-core porn/b movie. No photo was attached, so I have no idea.

    Shin was my only connection to Japan. I was never a Japanophile, though i respect their right to be their own thing without taking immigrants or basically being techno-Amish wrt Western culture. I mean, it’s possible Shin lied about his family background or social class, but why? He was so not stereotypically Japanese. Do you think of them as laid-back, athletic, unstudious? He had no real need to impress me, cuz he hung out with the cool kids, but i was (am) a dork.

    He was well-dressed, had plenty of money, tall and lanky (taller than the average American teen his age) I realize nations (especially one-people ones) have a lot of variety
    Hopefully have not put anything in this post that’d id him.

    On him bullshitting me? He never BSed on anything else. His parents sent him a fancy-ass, obviously expensive book about the Crown Prince’s(?) wedding (would have been maybe ‘93) . Fancy ass book. Would not have been cheap just to ship air mail (like it had been) I can’t believe he’d lie about something that didn’t matter.

    Here’s some Coon (my god, that sounds awful!) on the Japanese:


    Occupying most of eastern, central, and southeastern Asia, the Mon- goloids are numbered in the hundreds of millions. Although most of them have certain essential features in common, they vary regionally. This is even true within Japan. A long-faced city dweller (Fig. 10), a lofty- browed intellectual ( Fig. 11 ) , and a round-faced countryman from the mountains in back of Kyoto (Fig. 12), show certain aspects of the wide Japanese national range. The Koreans (Fig. 13), with long faces, short heads, and narrow-lidded eyes are less variable.
     
    Source
  62. @prime noticer
    can anybody explain why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game of the year and take a few more at bats to hit homer 63? resting for the playoffs and avoiding injury is a pretty stupid reason.

    Mike Trout hit 'only' 40 homers this year, but has 350 career homers whereas Judge is the same age and only has 220. that's a really big difference. what's up with that.

    Replies: @Ian M., @bomag, @Catdompanj

    Trout has twice as many at bats but not twice as many homeruns. Whats up with that?

  63. @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Ruth out homered every team twice.
     
    Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn't have happened even a mere decade later.

    Frans Johansson added an important caveat to the 10,000-hour rule mistouted by Malcolm Gladwell: it only applies to mature fields. In something brand new, such as punk rock, one can rise to the top almost immediately. There isn't the competition yet.

    Ruth in the 1920s is the poster child for this.

    Replies: @Ian M., @Catdompanj, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Making Ruth’s offensive accomplishments even more impressive.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Making Ruth’s offensive accomplishments...
     
    ...against the likes of the Philadelphia Athletics and the St Louis Browns...

    even more impressive.
     
    In right field or at first base, he wasn't in a position to add much value in defensive accomplishments.

    Replies: @Catdompanj, @ScarletNumber

  64. @bomag
    @prime noticer


    Ohtani is 10 times better than Ruth.
     
    Hurts your argument.

    Maybe a better comparison is Ohtani and Walter Johnson. Johnson was a good hitter, comparable average to Ohtani, plus .433 in the 1925 season. I'd definitely give the nod to Johnson in pitching.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Walter Johnson was insanely valuable as a pitcher, and was a decent hitter, but he only played the field 16 times in his career.

    It’s apparently highly taxing to be a starting pitcher and be in the daily lineup as a hitter, although easier as a DH, so nobody has done it as a permanent strategy. Heck, Babe Ruth didn’t like doing it and he wasn’t lacking in (justified) self-confidence.

    • Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @Steve Sailer

    Pitchers need to rest the arm. An outfielder may only make one hard throw a week, but the arm will HURT after that throw. Unless he's ambidextrous, a pitcher playing another position would risk a serious injury every time he threw using an arm that was still recuperating from the last start.
    The DH makes this risk moot.

    Steve, if you are correct that Babe was losing something and knew it, he would have been very sensitive to how his arm felt on the off days.

    Replies: @Ed Case

  65. @G. Poulin
    @Dr. Doomngloom

    Ruth never lost his bat speed. It was his eye-hand coordination that was shot in his last two seasons.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom

    I agree. My intended point is that his bat speed was arguably as good as anyone who ever played. Of course, so did Dave Kingman, he just didn’t make good contact as often.

    The batting skill that erodes most quickly with time is the ability of the eye to track the pitch. https://www.drivelinebaseball.com/2019/02/batters-see-ball-review-gaze-research-batting/
    summarizes an experiment with Brian Harper, a journeyman ball player who appeared to have much better ability to track than the researchers believed possible.

    When the aging slugger cannot get the bat around in time, it’s a sign that he is losing his tracking and reaction speed. The great Japanese slugger, Oh, said that he knew he was done when he told other players that the opposing pitcher seemed fast, but they didn’t think that pitcher was anything special.

  66. Off topic sporting question: does anyone think that Aryan superman Erling Haaland could compete as a world class athlete in the 100m? He’s got that fast and tall combination like Bolt.

  67. @Steve Sailer
    @bomag

    Walter Johnson was insanely valuable as a pitcher, and was a decent hitter, but he only played the field 16 times in his career.

    It's apparently highly taxing to be a starting pitcher and be in the daily lineup as a hitter, although easier as a DH, so nobody has done it as a permanent strategy. Heck, Babe Ruth didn't like doing it and he wasn't lacking in (justified) self-confidence.

    Replies: @Dr. DoomNGloom

    Pitchers need to rest the arm. An outfielder may only make one hard throw a week, but the arm will HURT after that throw. Unless he’s ambidextrous, a pitcher playing another position would risk a serious injury every time he threw using an arm that was still recuperating from the last start.
    The DH makes this risk moot.

    Steve, if you are correct that Babe was losing something and knew it, he would have been very sensitive to how his arm felt on the off days.

    • Disagree: Rich
    • Replies: @Ed Case
    @Dr. DoomNGloom

    An outfielder may only make one hard throw a week, but the arm will HURT after that throw.
    Is that right?
    In Cricket, an outfielder might make many long throws in an innings without issue.
    Is Baseball coaching at fault?
    That vertical arm flat throwing style doesn't look or feel right, while uncoached pitchers like Walter Johnson with no leg kick and a side arm throw didn't seem to have arm problems.

    Replies: @Rich

  68. @Steve Sailer
    @roonaldo

    A few amateur golfers play tournaments with only 1920-style hickory wood-shafted clubs (sometimes newly made rather than 100+ years old). It's supposed to be pretty interesting for golf nuts to see all the changes they have to make to score well.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @roonaldo

    It’s supposed to be pretty interesting for golf nuts to see all the changes they have to make to score well

    They’re not directly comparable since golf is an individual sport while tennis is a mano-a-mano sport, but watching modern tennis stars play with wooden rackets would be interesting, as the technology has definitely changed the game.

  69. @Known Fact
    @Reg Cæsar

    Thanks -- you can't just write Howard, you have to say it just like Howard would. I was on the news desk that night and we had the game on -- So yes, we probably got it from him too, even before seeing it cross the wires. Fortunately Dandy Don did not start singing The Party's Over

    Replies: @ScarletNumber

    I think Reg Cæsar is off-base here; I don’t think a random child in Boston named Howard is named for Howard Cosell.

    Fortunately Dandy Don did not start singing The Party’s Over

    At the time Dandy Don was hired, the NFL played a 14-game regular season. Therefore he was contracted to work 14 games per season. When the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978, he refused to work the extra two games, as he said it was a violation of his contract! Therefore, the night John Lennon was killed, it was Fran Tarkenton who was in the booth with Frank and Howard.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @ScarletNumber


    ...the night John Lennon was killed, it was Fran Tarkenton who was in the booth with Frank and Howard.
     
    The other clip YouTube offers up when you search for Cosell and Lennon together is from a 1974 game in LA in which Beatle John was interviewed in the booth. No clue is given that Gov Reagan had stopped by the same night. He had the privilege of explaining the rules of the game to Lennon, who appreciated it. Two entertainer sons of ne'er-do-well Micks-- is anyone surprised?

    I think Reg Cæsar is off-base here; I don’t think a random child in Boston named Howard is named for Howard Cosell.
     
    I didn't think so, either. But Howard peaked in 1920, and dropped out of the top 125 names about the time that kid was born. It does make one wonder. I don't think I've ever met a Howard younger than me.

    A true Yankee would sooner name his son Howland, anyway:

    http://mayflowerhistory.com/howland


    https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/50a02efce4b046b42952af27/1353183008643-SZ24PC2BFE27QE8STTRJ/m5.jpg?format=1000w

  70. @Catdompanj
    @Reg Cæsar

    Making Ruth's offensive accomplishments even more impressive.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Making Ruth’s offensive accomplishments…

    …against the likes of the Philadelphia Athletics and the St Louis Browns…

    even more impressive.

    In right field or at first base, he wasn’t in a position to add much value in defensive accomplishments.

    • Replies: @Catdompanj
    @Reg Cæsar

    I thought we were talking about homeruns? The goalposts called, they said "stop moving us".

    , @ScarletNumber
    @Reg Cæsar


    In right field or at first base, he wasn’t in a position to add much value in defensive accomplishments
     
    While Ruth did play a majority of his career in RF, he played first base in only 33 games in his career, with 13 of those coming in 1918, his first year as a position player. He mostly played LF his last two seasons with the Red Sox, as they had Hall-of-Famer Harry Hooper in RF.

    Hooper had a long career and long life, living until 1974 and dying at 87. In The Simpsons episode Homer at the Bat, Mr. Burns wants to hire Hooper to play for his softball team until Smithers informs him than Hooper (and the set of other potential ringers) are all deceased.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we-c6uhEpnE

  71. @ScarletNumber
    @Known Fact

    I think Reg Cæsar is off-base here; I don't think a random child in Boston named Howard is named for Howard Cosell.


    Fortunately Dandy Don did not start singing The Party’s Over
     
    At the time Dandy Don was hired, the NFL played a 14-game regular season. Therefore he was contracted to work 14 games per season. When the NFL expanded to 16 games in 1978, he refused to work the extra two games, as he said it was a violation of his contract! Therefore, the night John Lennon was killed, it was Fran Tarkenton who was in the booth with Frank and Howard.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    …the night John Lennon was killed, it was Fran Tarkenton who was in the booth with Frank and Howard.

    The other clip YouTube offers up when you search for Cosell and Lennon together is from a 1974 game in LA in which Beatle John was interviewed in the booth. No clue is given that Gov Reagan had stopped by the same night. He had the privilege of explaining the rules of the game to Lennon, who appreciated it. Two entertainer sons of ne’er-do-well Micks– is anyone surprised?

    I think Reg Cæsar is off-base here; I don’t think a random child in Boston named Howard is named for Howard Cosell.

    I didn’t think so, either. But Howard peaked in 1920, and dropped out of the top 125 names about the time that kid was born. It does make one wonder. I don’t think I’ve ever met a Howard younger than me.

    A true Yankee would sooner name his son Howland, anyway:

    http://mayflowerhistory.com/howland

  72. @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Making Ruth’s offensive accomplishments...
     
    ...against the likes of the Philadelphia Athletics and the St Louis Browns...

    even more impressive.
     
    In right field or at first base, he wasn't in a position to add much value in defensive accomplishments.

    Replies: @Catdompanj, @ScarletNumber

    I thought we were talking about homeruns? The goalposts called, they said “stop moving us”.

    • LOL: Rich
  73. @bomag
    @prime noticer


    ...why the Yankees did not allow Judge to play the final game
     
    All part of the Grand Plan, I suppose.

    Lots of asterisks in baseball. I wonder if the home team only batting 8 innings a chunk of the time would change some statistics. Since it affects everyone, maybe not. But then, better teams get fewer at bats.

    Replies: @Ian M.

    But counteracting that is that better teams get more hits, allowing them to get more at bats per inning than bad teams do.

  74. @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Making Ruth’s offensive accomplishments...
     
    ...against the likes of the Philadelphia Athletics and the St Louis Browns...

    even more impressive.
     
    In right field or at first base, he wasn't in a position to add much value in defensive accomplishments.

    Replies: @Catdompanj, @ScarletNumber

    In right field or at first base, he wasn’t in a position to add much value in defensive accomplishments

    While Ruth did play a majority of his career in RF, he played first base in only 33 games in his career, with 13 of those coming in 1918, his first year as a position player. He mostly played LF his last two seasons with the Red Sox, as they had Hall-of-Famer Harry Hooper in RF.

    Hooper had a long career and long life, living until 1974 and dying at 87. In The Simpsons episode Homer at the Bat, Mr. Burns wants to hire Hooper to play for his softball team until Smithers informs him than Hooper (and the set of other potential ringers) are all deceased.

  75. @Steve Sailer
    @roonaldo

    A few amateur golfers play tournaments with only 1920-style hickory wood-shafted clubs (sometimes newly made rather than 100+ years old). It's supposed to be pretty interesting for golf nuts to see all the changes they have to make to score well.

    Replies: @ScarletNumber, @roonaldo

    I donated several sets of vintage clubs from the 1950s and 1960s to a local course after finding little interest in a vintage-golf-club tournament. The blade irons give great feedback and the persimmon woods emit a fine thwack.

    Getting older means my modern clubs get the nod despite reduced feedback and the ugliness and pitiful “tink” of the driver, though a persimmon fairway wood and Ping o-blade putter remain in the bag.

    I’m grateful the Major Leagues appear to show no interest in adopting metal bats. Their other changes I can tolerate.

    Thanks for the Ruth-Ohtani comparison–it is a fun thing to ponder amidst the general craziness of the world these days. My quip about you counting LA Angels fitting on the head of a pin was just a bit o fun–if such a thing were possible to figure, you’d be the man for the job!

  76. @Dr. DoomNGloom
    @Steve Sailer

    Pitchers need to rest the arm. An outfielder may only make one hard throw a week, but the arm will HURT after that throw. Unless he's ambidextrous, a pitcher playing another position would risk a serious injury every time he threw using an arm that was still recuperating from the last start.
    The DH makes this risk moot.

    Steve, if you are correct that Babe was losing something and knew it, he would have been very sensitive to how his arm felt on the off days.

    Replies: @Ed Case

    An outfielder may only make one hard throw a week, but the arm will HURT after that throw.
    Is that right?
    In Cricket, an outfielder might make many long throws in an innings without issue.
    Is Baseball coaching at fault?
    That vertical arm flat throwing style doesn’t look or feel right, while uncoached pitchers like Walter Johnson with no leg kick and a side arm throw didn’t seem to have arm problems.

    • Replies: @Rich
    @Ed Case

    No, a baseball outfielder won't have arm pain after making one throw, unless he injures himself. Many of these guys can throw a baseball over 350 feet on target to the catcher. A little leaguer might ache after a couple throws, but that's about it. High school outfielder better be able to make long, hard, accurate throws, or he'll be riding the pine. Or sitting in the stands.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  77. It’s all rigged and at least 80% of these guys use roids. I havent watched baseball since the strike in 94. Couldnt care less about it now.

  78. @Ed Case
    @Dr. DoomNGloom

    An outfielder may only make one hard throw a week, but the arm will HURT after that throw.
    Is that right?
    In Cricket, an outfielder might make many long throws in an innings without issue.
    Is Baseball coaching at fault?
    That vertical arm flat throwing style doesn't look or feel right, while uncoached pitchers like Walter Johnson with no leg kick and a side arm throw didn't seem to have arm problems.

    Replies: @Rich

    No, a baseball outfielder won’t have arm pain after making one throw, unless he injures himself. Many of these guys can throw a baseball over 350 feet on target to the catcher. A little leaguer might ache after a couple throws, but that’s about it. High school outfielder better be able to make long, hard, accurate throws, or he’ll be riding the pine. Or sitting in the stands.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Rich

    On an off day from pitching, say Shohei Ohtani is playing rightfield and has a chance to throw out a runner at third with a 100 mph throw. Should he do it and risk hurting his arm because it's not fully warmed up or should he ease off and throw at 85 mph?

    Replies: @Rich, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

  79. @Reg Cæsar
    @Ian M.


    However, Ruth evidently hit more 500-foot homeruns than anyone else in history, by a solid margin, so there’s that.
     
    But never against Yankee pitching, so there's that. In 1927, the Yanks finished 19 games over the nearest competition. St Louis finished 50 1/2 games out, Boston 59.

    Parity wasn't a thing yet.

    Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Now this is a lie. A lie.

    The 1922 AL Pennant race, NY edged out STL by 1 game. Both the 1908 AL Pennant Race (DET over CLE, by one-half of a single game. And CHC over NY which required a one game playoff to determine the NL Pennant winner). The 1904 AL Pennant Race went to BOS over NY, by 1.5 games. Both leagues also had close pennant races during this time where the winner won by less than 3 games (then as now, MLB’s clubs plays its games in series of 3 games for the most part, and so a season where a team wins the pennant by 3 games or less is technically very close indeed, as it would go down to the wire with the final 3 game series to determine the pennant winner, though the second place team doesn’t always play the first place leader at season’s end to decide the pennant outcome).

    The point is that there has always been close pennant races in MLB for well over a century, but “parity” goes in cycles. Sometimes the seasons are close and go down to the wire, and sometimes the league pennant winner smashes all competition.

    This is really a “like, no duh, pennant races can be and often are very, very close in an MLB season.”

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    The more important stat is at the bottom of the league. If teams are 1/3 of the games played behind the leader, it suggests pitching talent wasn't evenly distributed.

  80. @Reg Cæsar
    @Catdompanj


    Ruth out homered every team twice.
     
    Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn't have happened even a mere decade later.

    Frans Johansson added an important caveat to the 10,000-hour rule mistouted by Malcolm Gladwell: it only applies to mature fields. In something brand new, such as punk rock, one can rise to the top almost immediately. There isn't the competition yet.

    Ruth in the 1920s is the poster child for this.

    Replies: @Ian M., @Catdompanj, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    “Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn’t have happened even a mere decade later.”

    Power hitting per se was not new. RBIs are also a key component of power hitting. IF the intended meaning behind “power-hitting” is due to increased HR production being new during that point in MLB’s history (namely, the 1920’s), then yes, it was something not seen on that level of magnitude before, and it was due to a single individual, named Babe Ruth.

    The fact that Ruth outhomered entire clubs and it was something of the order that Ruth hit 1 HR of every 8 HR’s in MLB for a brief time was absolutely amazing. To make the comparison accurate for 2022, it would be as if Aaron Judge hit over 100 HR’s in a single season. Something that’s never been done or seen before.

    Shoulda, coulda, but it DID happen. The entire 20th century’s offensive outcome abruptly changed during the ’20’s due largely to one single individual, named George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi


    The entire 20th century’s offensive outcome abruptly changed during the ’20’s due largely to one single individual, named George Herman “Babe” Ruth.
     
    No one denies that. (Whether this was good is a separate question.)

    Gus Dorais and Knute Rockne stumbled upon the running catch of a forward pass on a Sandusky beach in 1913. Notre Dame outscored their opponents 268-41 that fall, including an upset of Army that shocked every football man in the land.

    They weren't that much better than everyone else. They just happened to have come upon an effective technique that nobody was prepared for. This is what Ruth did in the following decade as well.

    In time, the defense catches on, and things are back to normal.
  81. @Rich
    @Ed Case

    No, a baseball outfielder won't have arm pain after making one throw, unless he injures himself. Many of these guys can throw a baseball over 350 feet on target to the catcher. A little leaguer might ache after a couple throws, but that's about it. High school outfielder better be able to make long, hard, accurate throws, or he'll be riding the pine. Or sitting in the stands.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    On an off day from pitching, say Shohei Ohtani is playing rightfield and has a chance to throw out a runner at third with a 100 mph throw. Should he do it and risk hurting his arm because it’s not fully warmed up or should he ease off and throw at 85 mph?

    • Replies: @Rich
    @Steve Sailer

    Ohtani is a different story, but he's not really an outfielder, is he? He's a dh. But, if he's playing the outfield and he can't make a major league throw, he shouldn't be out there.

    , @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Question: about how many seasons will it take until it dawns on Ohteni, "You know, people say I'm supposed to be the greatest in MLB to play in a long time, so shouldn't I get paid like I'm a juggernaut? Who does the front office think I am anyway, Mike Trout?"

    And of course a juggernaut, someone who's doing things that "no one else" in MLB has seen in a long long time, should get paid accordingly.

    And that's what the Yankees are there for, to make a juggernaut's time in MLB worth his while.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  82. @Steve Sailer
    @Rich

    On an off day from pitching, say Shohei Ohtani is playing rightfield and has a chance to throw out a runner at third with a 100 mph throw. Should he do it and risk hurting his arm because it's not fully warmed up or should he ease off and throw at 85 mph?

    Replies: @Rich, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Ohtani is a different story, but he’s not really an outfielder, is he? He’s a dh. But, if he’s playing the outfield and he can’t make a major league throw, he shouldn’t be out there.

  83. @Truth
    @Rob


    Shin had a long face. A lot more nose than most Japanese.
     
    What did the bartender say to Celine Dion?

    Replies: @Rob

    What?

    • Replies: @Truth
    @Rob

    "Hey, why the long face?"

  84. @Rob
    @Truth

    What?

    Replies: @Truth

    “Hey, why the long face?”

  85. @Steve Sailer
    @Rich

    On an off day from pitching, say Shohei Ohtani is playing rightfield and has a chance to throw out a runner at third with a 100 mph throw. Should he do it and risk hurting his arm because it's not fully warmed up or should he ease off and throw at 85 mph?

    Replies: @Rich, @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Question: about how many seasons will it take until it dawns on Ohteni, “You know, people say I’m supposed to be the greatest in MLB to play in a long time, so shouldn’t I get paid like I’m a juggernaut? Who does the front office think I am anyway, Mike Trout?”

    And of course a juggernaut, someone who’s doing things that “no one else” in MLB has seen in a long long time, should get paid accordingly.

    And that’s what the Yankees are there for, to make a juggernaut’s time in MLB worth his while.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Ohtani just signed a one-year contract for $30 million. Then he goes free agent.

  86. @AceDeuce
    @Rob

    Just curious. Was it Chiba or Shiba? Chiba is about 30 miles outside of Tokyo, while Shiba is part of Metro Tokyo.

    Also, it's rather interesting you're so credulous regarding his "samurai" ancestry. Ever think that he might just be bullshitting you?

    Replies: @Rob

    Oh. I don’t know. I had heard of Chiba, but thought it was right next door. I assumed that’s what he was saying. I might have an old Christmas card from his parents. He said it was near Tokyo, but his English was not great (the Japanese are attached to the American Empire, but they don’t want their upper class too fluent in English)

    Shin’s dad was pretty high up in some Keiretsu (is that what they are/were called?)

    Shin’s brother was a flower designer, but maybe that was a hobby. Shin tried to get started as a dancer in LA after school. I have no idea if either of those codes as gay in upper-class Japan. I do know that Shin got married.

    Tried to find him online a couple of years ago, but had no luck. Found someone with his name who was a producer on what was maybe a Japanese soft-core porn/b movie. No photo was attached, so I have no idea.

    Shin was my only connection to Japan. I was never a Japanophile, though i respect their right to be their own thing without taking immigrants or basically being techno-Amish wrt Western culture. I mean, it’s possible Shin lied about his family background or social class, but why? He was so not stereotypically Japanese. Do you think of them as laid-back, athletic, unstudious? He had no real need to impress me, cuz he hung out with the cool kids, but i was (am) a dork.

    He was well-dressed, had plenty of money, tall and lanky (taller than the average American teen his age) I realize nations (especially one-people ones) have a lot of variety
    Hopefully have not put anything in this post that’d id him.

    On him bullshitting me? He never BSed on anything else. His parents sent him a fancy-ass, obviously expensive book about the Crown Prince’s(?) wedding (would have been maybe ‘93) . Fancy ass book. Would not have been cheap just to ship air mail (like it had been) I can’t believe he’d lie about something that didn’t matter.

    Here’s some Coon (my god, that sounds awful!) on the Japanese:

    Occupying most of eastern, central, and southeastern Asia, the Mon- goloids are numbered in the hundreds of millions. Although most of them have certain essential features in common, they vary regionally. This is even true within Japan. A long-faced city dweller (Fig. 10), a lofty- browed intellectual ( Fig. 11 ) , and a round-faced countryman from the mountains in back of Kyoto (Fig. 12), show certain aspects of the wide Japanese national range. The Koreans (Fig. 13), with long faces, short heads, and narrow-lidded eyes are less variable.

    Source

  87. @Steve Sailer
    @Rob

    Excellent question. I could imagine Ohtani's outstanding bat speed descending from a long line of samurai decapitating swordsmen.

    But, looking it up, it appears his dad was a blue collar auto worker. (Of course, Japanese blue collar auto workers are probably the best auto workers in the world. There are probably 1992 cars still driving fine that were assembled by Shohei Ohtani's dad.)

    One of Carlton Coon's books has a picture of the typical Japanese aristocrat and claims the look is easily recognizable but I couldn't remember it, not knowing any samurai.

    Replies: @Rob, @Rob

    Aha. Steve, do have/have access to a paper copy of The Living Races of Man? Plate 47 (plates follow pg 320) has a “Japanese nobleman of aristocratic facial type” he does not look much like Shin. Will google further to see if warrior caste Samurai don’t look like aristocratic ones. Again, I know little of Japan. Were there so few/so insecure nobles that they pretty much freely intermixed with their enforcers? That sounds like feudalism, but I don’t know

    Archive.org has a copy, but the pictures did not digitize well will check libgen.lc or something. Might have a pdf.

  88. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Reg Cæsar

    Now this is a lie. A lie.

    The 1922 AL Pennant race, NY edged out STL by 1 game. Both the 1908 AL Pennant Race (DET over CLE, by one-half of a single game. And CHC over NY which required a one game playoff to determine the NL Pennant winner). The 1904 AL Pennant Race went to BOS over NY, by 1.5 games. Both leagues also had close pennant races during this time where the winner won by less than 3 games (then as now, MLB's clubs plays its games in series of 3 games for the most part, and so a season where a team wins the pennant by 3 games or less is technically very close indeed, as it would go down to the wire with the final 3 game series to determine the pennant winner, though the second place team doesn't always play the first place leader at season's end to decide the pennant outcome).

    The point is that there has always been close pennant races in MLB for well over a century, but "parity" goes in cycles. Sometimes the seasons are close and go down to the wire, and sometimes the league pennant winner smashes all competition.

    This is really a "like, no duh, pennant races can be and often are very, very close in an MLB season."

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The more important stat is at the bottom of the league. If teams are 1/3 of the games played behind the leader, it suggests pitching talent wasn’t evenly distributed.

  89. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Reg Cæsar

    "Because power-hitting was new. That wouldn’t have happened even a mere decade later."

    Power hitting per se was not new. RBIs are also a key component of power hitting. IF the intended meaning behind "power-hitting" is due to increased HR production being new during that point in MLB's history (namely, the 1920's), then yes, it was something not seen on that level of magnitude before, and it was due to a single individual, named Babe Ruth.

    The fact that Ruth outhomered entire clubs and it was something of the order that Ruth hit 1 HR of every 8 HR's in MLB for a brief time was absolutely amazing. To make the comparison accurate for 2022, it would be as if Aaron Judge hit over 100 HR's in a single season. Something that's never been done or seen before.


    Shoulda, coulda, but it DID happen. The entire 20th century's offensive outcome abruptly changed during the '20's due largely to one single individual, named George Herman "Babe" Ruth.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    The entire 20th century’s offensive outcome abruptly changed during the ’20’s due largely to one single individual, named George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

    No one denies that. (Whether this was good is a separate question.)

    Gus Dorais and Knute Rockne stumbled upon the running catch of a forward pass on a Sandusky beach in 1913. Notre Dame outscored their opponents 268-41 that fall, including an upset of Army that shocked every football man in the land.

    They weren’t that much better than everyone else. They just happened to have come upon an effective technique that nobody was prepared for. This is what Ruth did in the following decade as well.

    In time, the defense catches on, and things are back to normal.

  90. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    @Steve Sailer

    Question: about how many seasons will it take until it dawns on Ohteni, "You know, people say I'm supposed to be the greatest in MLB to play in a long time, so shouldn't I get paid like I'm a juggernaut? Who does the front office think I am anyway, Mike Trout?"

    And of course a juggernaut, someone who's doing things that "no one else" in MLB has seen in a long long time, should get paid accordingly.

    And that's what the Yankees are there for, to make a juggernaut's time in MLB worth his while.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Ohtani just signed a one-year contract for $30 million. Then he goes free agent.

  91. @SafeNow
    Excellent stat compilation, but baseball is a not golf - - it’s a team game with intangible team factors. Here’s a thought experiment. Imagine that a time machine* has assembled all of the great players; they are lined-up, like in gym class, and you are the manager making your picks. Maybe this is how one should discriminate between player A and player B. The gym-class take-your-pick test.

    *O/T: Essay topic: If you had a time machine and one pick, where and when would you go back in time to? (Merely to observe, or, would one be permitted to take part? For example, “Officer Chauvin, that’s enough; get the heck off George Floyd.”)

    Replies: @duncsbaby

    Chauvin’s fate is an unbelievable travesty of justice (as well as his co-defendants), but if not him, it would’ve been someone else that would’ve taken the hit. I don’t know maybe I would go back to the first Portugese trader who thought Africans would make terrific slaves and try to stop him but even then I know, if not him, it would’ve been someone else.

    • Agree: Rich
    • Replies: @Truth
    @duncsbaby

    You would have been wrong in trying to stop the "Portugese" guy. If he weren't for him someone would have come up with the idea of making dumb white people into slaves, and presto... you and your family would be picking cotton to this day.

    Replies: @Rich

  92. @duncsbaby
    @SafeNow

    Chauvin's fate is an unbelievable travesty of justice (as well as his co-defendants), but if not him, it would've been someone else that would've taken the hit. I don't know maybe I would go back to the first Portugese trader who thought Africans would make terrific slaves and try to stop him but even then I know, if not him, it would've been someone else.

    Replies: @Truth

    You would have been wrong in trying to stop the “Portugese” guy. If he weren’t for him someone would have come up with the idea of making dumb white people into slaves, and presto… you and your family would be picking cotton to this day.

    • Replies: @Rich
    @Truth

    They tried Tuthie, didn't work out. Just like basketball, you guys were better than us at being slaves. And your women loved getting visits from the master and his drunken friends and you guys were all on the down low in the boys' barracks.

  93. @Truth
    @duncsbaby

    You would have been wrong in trying to stop the "Portugese" guy. If he weren't for him someone would have come up with the idea of making dumb white people into slaves, and presto... you and your family would be picking cotton to this day.

    Replies: @Rich

    They tried Tuthie, didn’t work out. Just like basketball, you guys were better than us at being slaves. And your women loved getting visits from the master and his drunken friends and you guys were all on the down low in the boys’ barracks.

  94. Just like basketball, you guys were better than us at being slaves.

    Your Khazars in power, you know, Jewish Senators, CEO’s etc, may disagree with that assessment.

  95. Babe Ruth—national hero to millions of Americans. Lined up for blocks around St. Patrick’s when he died. Politicians and show biz people attended his funeral, etc

    Ohtani—mostly unknown outside of the dwindling baseball fan base

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